This Week in Milford

December 26, 2022

Part Two (No Gil, Don’t Read That Part!)

Filed under: Dr. Pearl, Gil Thorp, Pissy faced Gil, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 12:59 pm

Something is out of Dr. Pearl’s hands. It’s some aspect of the budget. Gil understands. Dr. Pearl manages to avoid spilling coffee on herself despite her awkward coffee cup handling. Whatever is happening to the budget, Dr. Pearl seems sure she can make up the shortfall through fundraising.

Gil doesn’t look like he wants any part of fundraising, even though it would seem that Gil will be somehow affected by the budgetary shortfall. Why else would Dr. Pearl bring him the news in person? Who knows. Gil is thinking about basketball season and doesn’t care. It’s all cryptic.

Finally, Gil picks up his cue card. Part Two “The Only Game in Town.” Ah, so that’s why it’s cryptic. Expect to see all sorts of info dumped on us this week as “The Only Game In Town” is slowly introduced through a series of thinly connected plot elements.

Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2022

Mele Kalikimaka ‘n stuff

Season’s greetings, gentle readers. I’m here from another hemisphere to take us into the transition out of football and into whatever comes next. Let’s check in with the Thorps to see what’s been going on off the field. I’m not gonna attempt to touch Festivus but I recommend that you check out the Mopped Up Thorp Festivus post; it’s awesome.

December 23, 2022

Oh my goodness this is getting sad fast. Meemaw appears to have left the nursing home to be in home hospice care. A detached-looking Gil stands in the doorway. I wonder if he ever knew how much Meemaw wanted Mimi to divorce him and try to revive a golf career we never knew she had. At least the Thorp kids are providing us the look at a Milford bonfire we didn’t get during football season.

KXCI is a community radio station in Tucson. It also streams online. There’s no reason to wonder, then, whether Milford has moved west of the Mississippi, or get into the matter of those stations east of the Mississippi beginning with K (e.g., KDKA in Pittsburgh, KYW in Philly) or those west of the Mississippi beginning with W (e.g., WHO in Des Moines).

In case you were wondering, The Both was a duo consisting of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo (but no Pharmacists). They’ve recorded a single , self-titled album to date, in 2014. The lyrics are from their song “Nothing Left To Do (Let’s Make This Christmas Blue).”

December 24, 2022

Now we get the triple-header Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa strip. I am not a member of the tribe so I did not know that ugly Hanukkah sweaters are a thing. I did, however, know that Hanukkah menorahs have nine candles, not seven as appear on Rachel’s sweater. I also did not know that Tobias and Mel were canonically Jewish. Kaz is looking a little distracted tbh. Probably thinking about his upcoming bris.

The Thorps manage to smile for their family photo save for Keri, who’s showing off her knuckle dusters and the reason Pedro Martinez has been hanging around. (meta: Moon Mullins points out Keri is flashing the universal symbol for eating at the Y, so not completely out of character.)

Finally we have… who? I honestly do not know and I feel guilty for not knowing. This isn’t the Brown-Hiatt family from a few years bock.* Is it one of Keri’s volleyball teammates? Help me out here, please.

It is now after midnight where I am and so, while you may have several hours to go, it is already Christmas Day here. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and we’ll see you again on Boxing Day.

*This should read “a few years back,” but I’m leaving this typo in since that’s what I was drinking on Christmas Eve.

December 21, 2022

A Hot Spit Take

As promised, my jet-lagged and sleep-deprived self is here with today’s post and it’s gonna be blunt.

While Valley Tech players dance around like Matisse’s Icarus, Gil offers Luke a congratulatory handshake and gets a neck full of spittle in return. Not only does Martinez still carry a misdirected 35-year grudge, he also suffers from Napoleon syndrome and delusions of grandeur. Squeaking out a one-point win because you stopped your opponent’s two-point conversion attempt hardly qualifies as an embarrassment. There were no stakes attached to the golf game and no one listens to Marty’s podcast. People can only be embarrassed if they choose to be, and Gil clearly has not chosen to be.

Enough of this chode. He should get what’s coming to him eventually. Enough of the Tuesday morning quarterbacking, too. Gil gambled and the gamble didn’t pay off. It happens. I still think there should be some explanation for why Milford decided to go for two and not try to force overtime with an established kicker (maybe two, if we count Hooper and if the scores that are neat multiples of seven are any indication), but I’m not holding my breath. A few days on the domestic front and a Saturday Christmas Eve strip (surprised no Hanukkah strip with Kaz and his new squeeze) and we should pivot to basketball.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to take a look at the inside of my eyelids. Happy Solstice. teenchy out.

December 19, 2022

Goodnight, Milford

The big gamble didn’t pay off for Coach Thorp. Tobias Gordon’s leap of faith failed and their hopes were dashed in the finals.

Look at the contrast of Coach Luke and Coach Kim basking in glory while the pissy faces of Gil and Kaz tell the story of defeat, humiliation and probably an utter lack of football intelligence. I mean, maybe they should have tried something even trickier like a rainbow flick lob or, ya know, kicking an extra point for the tie. Oh heck, Milford probably would have lost on penalty kicks anyway. Also, there may have been more stoppage time than we had been led to believe, so they could have tried pulling their goalie for a man advantage. Next time, Gil should try the 9-iron and a triangle defense. And that’s why they call it cribbage.

Kudos for the colorist for staying consistent for a whole game.

Hey guys, yhs is really not feeling great today. Please have at it in the comments and I’ll see you next week as we throw out the first shuttlecock.

November 30, 2022

Between Valley Tech and Milford lies OBSESSION.

We’re still going over the 1987 “game film” (and by “game film,” I mean “a VHS copy of TV 2’s broadcast”) of the state championship game with Gil and Maestro Turturro, but the end is near. Valley Tech has edged the Mudlarks, 14-10 for the title, and Ringo Starr Marty Moon is on hand to interview the star of the game, Luke “El Tigre” Martinez.

El Tigre’s strip of the hula-dancing Mudlark receiver saved the game for Tech, but all Hairy Luke can focus on is Gil and his “spot.” Clearly this is not some kind of revenge fantasy: Tech won the game, no? Was it Gil’s coaching job at Milford and his hot blonde wife Mimi that Luke was coming for? The career sacrifice, marrying the hot med student, becoming a stay-at-home-dad so the the hot med student wife could become a successful heart surgeon – all part of a 35-year-long game to get him to the point that he could coach another Valley Tech team to beat Milford?

Seems like the Milford Star coverage of the game only added fuel to a fire that was burning long before the final whistle. Dude’s got some serious-ass issues to work through. Get help, Luke. We might get more backstory in support of the Martinez monomania, but in the meantime, enjoy the inspiration for today’s post title.

October 24, 2022

Ducking And Covering With Gil

Filed under: Gil Thorp, Pissy faced Gil, Prairie Style Windows — nedryerson @ 6:14 am

We join Gil Thorp in Madame Yonkers’ French class in the middle of a “Mass Shooter Drill”. (If you had told me a year ago I would be writing that sentence to start off a TWIM post, I would have said, “You’re crazy…and how did you know I write TWIM posts, did you hack into my laptop??”) But here we are crouching in Madame Yonkers’ class, where Gil was just about to wing in and tell the kids about Bon Jovi…oh wait, he wrote Bon Jour on the board in a jaunty font because it’s French class. I think the kids would be better off with a lesson on Bon Jovi, but instead they have the benefit of Gil’s wisdom about “The Cold War“.

I could put myself in Gil’s place easily here, even if I’m not nearly as ancient. That kid could be asking me the same question. Did you have to do stuff like this when you were kids? My answer would be a bit more nuanced. I don’t recall ever doing any kind of hide under the desk exercise, as I think by the mid to late 70s, we probably all realize how pointless that was as we learned more about the realities of nuclear weapons. We didn’t take it lightly. On the contrary, we were scared to death of the destructive power and were told constantly that the threat was real and imminent, but the stance on being prepared for it had evolved from “duck and cover” to “kiss your ass goodbye”. In terms of drills, I think we did tornado drills sometimes, because you can’t grow up in this country without multiple existential threats. I’m sure everyone’s experiences varied based on your school(s) and the era you attended.

I suppose I’m somewhat in agreement with Gil’s final analysis here. Having “Mass Shooter Drills” be part of your life seems more terrifying, but I’m not sure if I feel that way because of the collective trauma we’ve all seen with school shootings (and the media coverage of them) in recent years. IS it worse, Gil? Can your perspective as a kid crouching under a desk in your Converse high tops in the 50s help contextualize our culture of fear for “kids today”? We could pontificate about this here, because there’s probably no room for this to happen in the bursting at the seams plotlines of Gil Thorp.

As a person who really has no idea what is happening on a modern high school campus, I’m not sure what to make of this “Mass Shooter Drill”. (I keep using quotes because I think “Mass Shooter” sounds wrong. I know personally about “Active Shooter” drills and awareness. I think the wording of “Mass Shooting” right in the name of the exercise is dark as hell. I may just be blowing smoke as I will repeat again, I have no idea what happens in schools.*) Also, I’m not sure if a guy in body armor with a military style weapon necessarily has to be part of such a drill. Maybe that’s just me. I’d be curious to hear what younger people have experienced along these lines, but I think it’s more likely that TWIM readers are mostly my age and older, so maybe the perspectives are more likely to be that of parents, but that’s still more than I can bring to the table.

*I wanted to acknowledge that we had a few comments in a recent post about substitute teaching and I wanted to out myself as a one-time substitute teacher. It was back in the early 90s and I only did it for one school year. I can definitely share some stories, but I didn’t gain any perspective then about the current situation. I think most of the fear I experienced was my own sheer terror of being in charge of 20-30 kids who were all out to get me. The one thing I did learn though was a thorough respect for school teachers and the complexity of the job. I already knew this having grown up with one parent who spent over forty years as a teacher but being there really brought it all home. I salute our educators and you will never hear me begrudge them that “summer off” as if it’s nearly enough compensation. Sorry to get soapbox-y. Take it away commenters!

October 1, 2022

A Day for Definitions*

mudlark, n. 1. (mainly UK) someone who searches the mud near rivers trying to find valuable or interesting objects. 2. (UK) a horse who runs well on soft, wet ground.

Neither of those define an actual bird and, of the two, only the latter makes much sense as a sports team mascot (e.g., Indiana Pacers, Murray State Thoroughbreds/Racers). The only NCAA Division I school with a peacock mascot had a Cinderella run in the most recent March Madness (beating the aforementioned Murray State in the process) and a shout-out at the end of the Pranit Smith winter arc. Trotting out a reference to what was already an idiotic Rubin plot from nine years ago doesn’t establish continuity; it throws a marrowless bone to a readership looking for some strand of it after the past 2.5 months have made their collective heads spin.

context, n. the situation within which something exists or happens, and that can help explain it.

As much as we all bitched about the lather, rinse, repeat of the beginnings of a Rubin sportsball season, they helped place the wackiness that followed in some sort of context. We’d have Gil and/or Mimi tick off to Marjie and/or Marty the starting lineups named after Rubin’s friends or colleagues IRL; we’d see a Milford team play a non-conference opponent (probably another shout-out) on the road (Connecticut? South Carolina? Vermont? Chuck a dart at the map, Rubin!); then we’d dive into the Valley Conference schedule. Sometimes – make that often – games would pass and we’d get no detail about them beyond the result. Other times, single games would drag on for days or even weeks.

When they did, however, we would at least know the opponent, the score, and the quarter or inning. Sometimes we’d even know the time remaining, the field position, down and yards to go, the outs, the count on the batter, the number of fouls on the hoopster. Yesterday we had to connect a lot of dots to make sense of what was going on on the field. There were 10 seconds left in the game and Milford had a 4th-and-1 on the (school?) Bobcats’, oh, say, 23. Gil wants to go for the end zone; Kaz wants to send the kicker out to attempt a 40-yard field goal. Somehow Kaz, who heretofore has not been the OC and playcaller, overrules Gil (who used to be in charge of calling plays). Since high school kickers who can hit from 40 are scarcer than peacock’s teeth, the kick is predictably no good. The Bobcats run out the clock and the Mudlarks lose.

What was the score of the game? Would a field goal have won it? For the sake of argument, let’s assume it would. Knowing poor Hooper wasn’t likely to make it from 40, why not go for the first down? Did Milford not have any time outs left? That would’ve been a factor in the decision as well. All that matters is the Mudlarks lost, Patrick Swayze Kaz feels shame, and Gil stares blankly out the prairie style window at the mule golden retriever trans soccer player who will make Hooper history, Milford woke, and Luke Martinez leave town when he kicks the winning field goal to beat Valley Tech in the season finale.

*(Source for both definitions: Cambridge Dictionary)

August 29, 2022

Mimi Is Attracted To Big Dad Energy

Filed under: Gil Thorp, golf, Mimi Thorp, Pissy faced Gil, What the hell is going on here? — nedryerson @ 6:15 am

I don’t know why it is only striking me now that Lukey and Fran Martinez have coordinated their golf attire. I think in the initial reveal of Fran, I was probably focusing more on the length of Fran’s skirt, which seemed quite short. The panel one shading and perspective definitely gives the Martinez’s a more twinsie look and the skirt seems to have lengthened a bit.

Attire aside, Fran is giving us some background on Lukey. It’s a little confusing. Martinez was a stay at home dad but established and maintained credentials for coaching in schools. I guess there’s a way to do that. The point is that Coach Luke was instrumental in raising Pedro and an indeterminant number of other boys. That’s Mimi’s takeaway, at least. Being there to tuck the kids into bed gives Mimi a special feeling in her golf jorts and she’s not shy about letting Gil know.

I do dig the shock to Gil’s system as Mimi subverts his expectation and overlooks all of Coach Luke’s loutishness to focus on his parenting. Of course, Martinez might be as full of crap about this as everything else.

A few random thoughts:
Does Pedro still wet the bed??

I was today years old when I learned that “winning the chip” is a reference to championships. Cool, Luke, cool.

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